Agriculture a key to offering investment in Nature-based Solutions

June 25, 2020 4:00 pm

What are nature-based solutions?

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) is a term that can be used to describe alternative and non-traditional approaches to environmental issues like water, soil erosion, by harnessing natural capital.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) defines nature-based solutions as “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits”.

NbS refer to the sustainable management and use of nature for tackling socio-environmental challenges. The challenges include issues such as climate change, water security, water pollution, food security, human health, and disaster risk management.

Why do they matter?

By maintaining and replenishing natural elements, projects that integrate nature-based solutions help to conserve the environment, create habitats for endangered species, lower carbon emissions, and restore an aesthetic natural beauty to communities.

But natural capital has not been systematically incorporated into decision making and planning,” the IDB report argues. It says governments “do not always recognize dependencies on, or the economic contribution of, natural capital”.

This means countries are losing out on a key benefit of nature-based solutions: their economic value. Nature-based solutions have a higher resilience to climate change than grey approaches, so have reduced upfront capital costs, and reduced maintenance and operational fees.

“Nature-based solutions can protect our natural resources and provide a sustainable pathway to food security”

What role can agriculture play?

Investing in Agricultural real assets as a NbS can respond to climate change, protect our natural resources and provide a sustainable pathway to food security. Agriculture has the potential to play a crucial role in providing financially sustainable solutions to the worlds environmental issues as it is directly related to climate, biodiversity, soil fertility, and land remediation. Implementing successful NbS in agriculture to respond to climate change requires action based on science.

Because agriculture is directly engaged with climate change, biodiversity, soil fertility and land degradation, it holds the key to bringing together often fragmented stakeholders – resource managers, producers, value-chain operators, advocates and policymakers.

“NbS provides the framework to effectively reverse degradation through efforts to integrate principles and practices that support carbon sequestration, building biodiversity, maintain healthy soil function, effective/efficient water cycling and reduce GHG emissions.”

Evidence is mounting that there is momentum for change with a growing awareness that working with nature by investing in NbS, can further pave the way towards a more intelligent, resource-efficient and greener economy that can meet the Paris agreement obligations.

At Impact Ag Partners we are working with landholders, investors, and policymakers to drive NbS investment whilst applying the latest research and innovation through investment in technology and new markets. NbS is an essential part of the overall global response to climate change and sustainable development.

Learn more about how we are generating, measuring and monetising natural capital for our clients HERE

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